Premier League: Liverpool slip up in the snow against Leicester City
Jurgen Klopp’s side lead Man City by five points and Spurs squeeze past Watford
Liverpool 1 Leicester City 1
The Premier League title race took another twist last night as Liverpool blew a chance to stretch their lead over Manchester City to seven points.
Liverpool took an early lead against Leicester through Sadio Mane but Harry Maguire levelled for the visitors on the stroke of half-time to deny the Reds three points. The 1-1 draw means Liverpool are now five points clear of Man City.
Rather than blame the result on a loss of nerve, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pointed the finger at a lot of snow.
“You saw that the ball didn’t roll really,” he said. “If you then have the ball pretty much for 70 to 80% of the time it makes life really uncomfortable. The only problem is if it stays on the pitch and that was actually the case.”
Klopp was also angered at the failure of officials to award his side a second-half penalty when Naby Keita was fouled by Ricardo Pereira.
“I think everybody agrees there could have been a penalty and maybe should have been a penalty,” fumed Klopp. “I don’t know why it was no penalty.”
But despite the snow and the penalty claim, Leicester deserved their point and the conditions didn’t seem to inhibit the Foxes as they pressed for a second goal.
They didn’t get one but nonetheless they join Man City as the only Premier League team to leave Anfield this season with points.
Liverpool travel to West Ham on Monday evening and it could provide an ideal opportunity for the leaders to show their rivals that the Leicester result was nothing more than a blip.
But a failure to come away from east London with three points will be a clear indication that the pressure is starting to get to the Reds.
“We have a point more than before,” said Klopp, when asked to analyse the result. “It is not exactly what we wanted to have, but still everything is fine.”
Tottenham 2 Watford 1
Tottenham joined north London rivals Arsenal as the only clubs in the top six to win their midweek fixture, although they left it late at Wembley against Watford.
Craig Cathcart gave the visitors the lead on 38 minutes, and it wasn’t until ten minutes from time that Son Heung-min levelled for Spurs.
Fernando Llorente then produced the winner on 87 minutes, heading home a goal that takes Tottenham to within two points of Man City.
Smiles are back
“I think we fully deserved the victory,” said Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, whose side have been knocked out of the League and FA Cups in the past week. “It’s fantastic to win again. After a difficult week it’s so important to smile. The mentality is perfect.”
Slaughter at the seaside
Bournemouth battered Chelsea on the south coast, their four unanswered goals pushing the Blues out of the top four.
Chelsea now lie fifth, behind Arsenal on goal difference, and manager Maurizio Sarri accepted responsibility for the club’s heaviest league defeat in 23 years.
“Maybe I am not able to motivate these players,” said the Italian in the clearest indication yet that there may be yet another new manager at Stamford Bridge next season.
Telling reporters that his players “need to change something in the mentality”, Sarri added: “At the end of the first half it was impossible to think the second would be a disaster and I want to understand why.”
Premier League results, fixtures and TV guide
- Arsenal 2 Cardiff City 1
- Fulham 4 Brighton & Hove Albion 2
- Huddersfield Town 0 Everton 1
- Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 West Ham United 0
- Manchester United 2 Burnley 2
- Newcastle United 2 Manchester City 1
- Bournemouth 4 Chelsea 0
- Southampton 1 Crystal Palace 1
- Liverpool 1 Leicester City 1
- Tottenham Hotspur 2 Watford 1
FixturesSaturday 2 February (3pm unless stated)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Newcastle United (12.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Watford
- Burnley vs. Southampton
- Chelsea vs. Huddersfield Town
- Crystal Palace vs. Fulham
- Everton vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Cardiff City vs. Bournemouth (5.30pm, live on BT Sport 1)
Sunday 3 February
- Leicester City vs. Manchester United (2.05pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Manchester City vs. Arsenal (4.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
Monday 4 February
- West Ham United vs. Liverpool (8pm, live on Sky Sports)